True scope of our system LO6980 ("")
Thu, 25 Apr 1996 12:02:37 +0000

Replying to LO6942 --

On Wed, 24 Apr 96 00:00 Jim Ross wrote -

> Dave Birren has stated rather eloquently what I've long thought about how
> we need to lead people today. We need to first understand that this
> "interconnectedness" that he speaks about is there even when we look out
> and we see nothing but chaos or worse, apathy. People are relating to each
> other and to their perception of what is, whether we see it or not.
> Leaders recognize this and struggle to lead from where their followers are
> at - not the other way around. This means they must understand them in a
> much more personal way than they have in the past and involve them in
> everything they can.
> Participation in the process, meaningful participation, is what will bring
> us to the new company. People need to see themselves in the vision of the
> company, otherwise we'll never get the kind of effort from them we need.
> Also, employees need to be able to tuck the vision in their cheeks.......
> "Whatever it Takes"..............."Absolutely, positively overnight." So
> when their hearts are sometimes overruled by some old perceptions, they
> can pull the vision out of their cheeks and re-focus.
> I read an article in Training magazine on employee ownership. One major
> point that the article made was that ownership without participation has
> never been effective in bringing employees hearts into their work. Some
> companies feel that encouraging employees to "own" part of the company
> through stock purchase plans and ESOPs is enough to make employees
> committed . The article points out that the evidence simply does not
> support this conclusion. Employees need to participate in order to be
> committed. Ownership of the company is a good way to help them share in
> the rewards of that participation.

Jim's point about commitment and its source is a key issue in managing
people. We have tested and found that the following route to creating high
levels of commitment is consistently effective, only being limited by
bosses leading toward low standards or toward bad values.

Ignoring the caveat, we have found that bosses cannot directly create
commitment, but that commitment is an automatic result of the employee's
feeling of ownership.

We have found that bosses cannot directly create a sense of ownership
(ESOP's being a very good example), but that ownership is an automatic
result of the employee being able to influence the outcome of what goes on
which affects him or her in any way, even indirectly.

We have found that bosses cannot directly create influence, but that
influence will result if the boss always listens to anyone's two cents by
providing adequate access to every person so that they can complain,
suggest or ask questions and always provides high quality answers in a
timely fashion to the originator and provides that person and anyone else
the opportunity to do it again before anything is changed or before the
issue is considered put to bed.

This creates great trust since we cannot distrust anything that we know
everything about and have had the opportunity to influence. This process
also results in sharing with employees whatever knowledge they need about
why or what the company is doing. My associate while in charge of a 900+
person unionized group only had one thing which he would not tell fellow
employees over a seven year period.

The above process must be carried out both one-on-one and in groups (my
associate used 40 person groups so that everyone would have an opportunity
to participate. He developed a set of dos and don'ts for these
interactions in order to effect the best possible leadership, to keep them
on the goal of answering complaints/suggestions/questions and to enable
junior bosses to learn how to conduct them, but they were effective beyond
anyone's dreams.

Many of these rules were designed to allow people in the group to give the
solution or design the solution to problems brought up. This all important
practice makes everyone into a problem solver and starts on the road to
being strong and independent thinkers. The boss must never give an answer
that can be gotten out of someone else. Asking the right questions and
protecting high standards are far more important leadership actions for
the boss to conduct. Besides, the people need to know that they can
produce solutions just as often as anyone else and that rank means more
accountability and not more smarts or more knowledge, only knowledge of a
different sort, only attention to a different set of details called
leadership, not "things".

Hope this helps, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book "How to Unleash the Power of People"


"" <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>